Project Description

John Graham TAYLOR (Jack) was born at number six landing at Karridale on 13 June, 1905. His father, William, was born in Queanbeyan, New South Wales and his mother, Emily (nee Rowland) was from Liverpool Plains in New South Wales. He had two brothers and a sister – his mother lost three other babies at birth.

In 1906 they bought Westbrook from Elijah Dawson the second. The property was close to Newtown and near Ellensbrook and Jack describes both properties. He talks of the heavy scrub, the Jersey cow herd, maize and oat crops, the aborigines who worked at Westbrook and lived nearby, and the decimation of the herd from copper deficiency which almost caused his father to walk off the property.

His father made a living by shooting possums and Jack and his brother milked the remaining cows. The herd was gradually built up because they had a bull (the only one in the district) and they dealt with the copper deficiency. When Jack took over the farm he ran cattle and raised pigs.

Jack remembers the very early days of Busselton with some marl streets and others still rough sand. He talks of the people and buildings at Newtown and Busselton, describes the postal services, the judicial system, banks, churches, the library, sporting facilities, horse racing, visiting artists and repertory shows, social life, the Busselton Brass Band, and development of business premises, including details of the shops.

He talks of the beach, picnics, the visiting pleasure steamers, fishing, and merchant shipping. Jack also provides insight into the effects that WWI and WWII, the Depression and Group Settlement had on the district, particularly the close-knit community at Newtown.